Q: My training buddy likes to sprint at the end of runs. Is that safe?
Asking your body to produce a maximum effort when it’s fatigued risks injury, as tired muscles strain easily. Better to finish at a slow pace to allow your muscles to return gradually to a relaxed state.
If you want to end a run with faster running, you can do strides. These controlled efforts differ from sprints as you gradually ramp up speed over 20 to 30 metres, hold it briefly, then slowly decelerate over 20 to 30 metres, allowing the muscles time to adapt to and recover from the change in gears.
Save sprinting for speedwork, and be sure to sandwich those sessions with 10 minutes of easy jogging to warm up and cool down.